Producer: Ludovic Chanson
Annual Production (of all wines): 25,000 Bottles
Farming: Certified Organic (AB)
Website: No Website
Few producers sum up the quiet innovation and imagination encapsulated in the Montlouis sur Loire AOC as well as the young Ludovic Chanson, who is currently crafting gorgeous, interesting, and delicious renderings of his white wines. Having always had a passion for wine, Chanson left his job in pharmaceutical research in 2007 and went to work for the renowned Vouvray producer Vincent Carême, where he staged for one year. In 2008 he took over a 6.5 ha property in Montlouis, a small AOC that sits on the left bank of the Loire River opposite Vouvray, just east of the city of Tours. It had been organically farmed since 2006 and has since been certified. The property is primarily planted to Chenin Blanc, however there are also small plots of both Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
Chanson’s first vintage of solo production was 2009; he bottled a ripe Sauvignon Blanc as well as a bright, laser-like Chenin Blanc. His is a non-interventionist philosophy to winemaking that lead him to hand harvest with successive passes to select only grapes at optimal ripeness. He ferments with indigenous yeasts, utilizes no chaptalization, no enzymes, or benonite, and blocks malolactic fermentation.
Chanson’s primary aim is to craft wines that best express the minerality of the silex and perruches soils of Montlouis. So as he got his land legs, he decided to jump on board the sparkling wine train, a small, newish movement of producers who are making Montlouis sur Loire Pétillant Originel (affectionately labeled Pet’ Nat), which got its AOC in 2007. Pétillant is different from the traditional – or Champagne – method in that it has much less carbonation than wines crafted in that style. It’s creamier, merely fizzy, and incredibly pleasurable to drink. Pétillant Originel bans the addition of sugar to jumpstart secondary fermentation. Any residual sugar that remains in the wine once the still juice stops fermenting starts the secondary fermentation in bottle once warmer weather arrives.
Chanson continues to produce his flagship bone-dry still Chenin, Les Cabotines, and is currently bottling one dry Pet’ Nat, Les Pions, one off-dry still (demi-sec), Les Pêchers, as well as one sweet still (moelleux) called Safran which contains 64 g/l of residual sugar.